ESL Collocations: Word List & Games

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Collocations can be tricky, even for native speakers. This lesson provides teachers with a list of common collocations and games to help ESL (English as a Second Language) learners understand and use collocations correctly.

English Collocations

If you haven't already covered collocations with you students, a quick review can be helpful. A collocation is two or more words that are often spoken or written together. To native English speakers, collocations 'sound' correct. Explain that knowing common collocations can help your students improve their overall understanding of English. This lesson will go over some common collocations and activities to help your ESL students learn them.

Collocations List

This list is only a small sample of the many English collocations. As you teach and review collocations with your students, be sure to add to this list. It's also important to remember that students shouldn't simply memorize this word list. Rather, they should seek out phrases they are familiar with and ensure that the phrases are being used correctly.

  • Have a drink
  • Have a problem
  • Have lunch
  • Have time
  • Have fun
  • Do Business
  • Do nothing
  • Do your best
  • Do your homework
  • Make a mess
  • Make a mistake
  • Make room
  • Make trouble
  • Take a break
  • Take a taxi
  • Take a seat
  • Take an exam
  • Take notes
  • Break the ice
  • Break the law
  • Catch a ball
  • Catch a bus
  • Catch a cold
  • Pay attention
  • Pay the bill
  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Save space
  • Keep a promise
  • Keep calm
  • Keep quiet
  • Keep the change
  • Come close
  • Come right back
  • Go abroad
  • Go crazy
  • Go missing
  • Get a job
  • Get lost
  • Get ready

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